Spring at the Bench


L.C. Tiffany’s Daffodil Columns

#🌼 In 1902, the same year he incorporated his growing company as Tiffany Studios, Louis Comfort Tiffany began construction on Laurelton Hall. The 84-room, 8-level country house was located on a 580-acre estate on Long Island, which also featured conservatories, stables and 60-acres of gardens. – The Daffodil Terrace was added to Laurelton Hall in 1915 or 1916. Located off of the dining room, this outdoor space was framed with eight slender columns made of Carrara marble. The concrete capitals of these columns were encrusted with cast- and cut-glass daffodils. These fantastic capitals were the result of years of thought and experimentation by Tiffany. – The artist integrated floral column capitals into the architecture of Lauralton Hall at least a decade before he added the Daffodil Terrace – the most notable early examples were the floral capitals decorating the south garden entrance, where bands of ceramic poppy, peony, lotus and magnolia blossoms crown long and elegant stems. These are the capitals that visitors to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York see on view in the American Wing. – When the house was built Tiffany used at least three different versions of daffodil column capitals on the mansion’s south façade, including a single mold, all-concrete version, and two more-developed glass and concrete versions. The use of yellow glass in these two variants yielded a richer and more natural appearance through its contrast with the blossom’s green concrete stems. – A decade later Tiffany surpassed the light effects and natural qualities of those earlier daffodil capitals when he created the Daffodil Terrace. His final versions were the most complex: he continued to use yellow molded glass to form the blossoms, but upgraded to a 12-part mold to form each petal and stamen individually. He then finished each piece in enamel of various colors so that unlike in the previous versions each blossom was unique. In addition, he varied the location of the blossoms on the capital further to individualize them. • #morsemuseum #louiscomforttiffany #tiffany #daffodils #americanart #decorativeart #castglass #columns #naturalism #artnouveau #glassart #tiffanystudios

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Love in Dreams

ophelia millais.jpg

Love hath its poppy-wreath,
Not Night alone.
I laid my head beneath
Love’s lilied throne:
Then to my sleep he brought
This anodyne –
The flower of many a thought
And fancy fine:
A form; a face, no more;
Fairer than truth;
A dream from death’s pale shore;
The soul of youth:
A dream so dear, so deep,
All dreams above,
That still I pray to sleep –
Bring Love back, Love!

John Addington Symonds (1840-93), Love in Dreams


American Female Pottery Artists

#✊ #🎨 Examples by female pottery artists of the Arts and Crafts period, 1896-1930. – Many women sought opportunities as pottery decorators during the Arts and Crafts movement, where artistic skill offered them the possibility of meaningful work and economic stability in a late- and post-Victorian society. In most cases the pottery houses were male-owned, although there were exceptions: famous Rookwood Pottery (1884-1921) was founded by china painter Maria Longworth Nichols in Cincinnati, Ohio. – While examples like Rookwood exist, most of the artistic contributions females made during this era remain under-recognized. At the time, most paid work was considered debasing for women and there were few professions that were considered socially acceptable. The Arts and Crafts movement’s orientation towards decorative and handcrafted (versus industrialized) goods placed emphasis on skills that were widely considered feminine, opening the door for participation by women workers. – In spite of their growing presence in the arts world, instead of being considered talented creators themselves, women were still primarily utilized as executants of the designs created by and credited to men. We see direct examples of this situation in the pottery shown above: the majority of these pieces can only be described by museum curators as decorated by women. – Bowl, earthenware with leaf motif. Grueby Faience Co., executed by Florence S. Liley. Boston, ca 1898-1900. – Vase, earthenware with chrysanthemums. Paul Revere Pottery of the Saturday Evening Girls, executed by Ida Goldstein. Massachusetts, ca 1911-1912. – Vase, earthenware with tulip. Rookwood Pottery, decorated by Harriet E. Wilcox. Cincinnati, 1905. – Vases, earthenware with forest silhouettes. Rookwood Pottery, decorated by Sara Sax. Cincinnati, 1910 & 1911. – Vase, earthenware with grape motif. Marblehead Pottery, designed by Arthur Irwin Hennessy, executed by Sarah Tutt. Massachusetts, ca 1908-1918.

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New Mexico Road Trip

Six to seven million years ago, layers of ash and rock were deposited here by pyroclastic flow – a fast-moving current of hot gas and volcanic matter that moves away from a volcano, reaching speeds of up to 430 mph. – Over time, erosion of these layers has created canyons and tent rocks. The tent rocks themselves are cones of soft pumice and tuff beneath harder caprocks, and vary in height from a few feet to 90 feet; my photo does little to convey the true scale of these remarkable features (check out that tree in the picture to get an idea). – A relatively recent National Monument (designated in 2001 by Bill Clinton), Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks is located near the Cochiti Pueblo in New Mexico. The name, Kasha-Katuwe, means "white cliffs" in the Pueblo language Keresan. • #puebloland #tentrocks #ancientland #americansouthwest #nationalmonument #newmexico #kashakatuwe #whitecliffs #tentrocksnationalmonument #traveldiaries #geology #volcanic #erosion #exploremore #wanderlustwednesday #amazingnature #geologyporn #travelstoke #lookaround #hiketheworld #🏜 #🌋

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These cliff dwellings in the Gila Wilderness were used by the Mogollon people, a culture that flourished from 200 CE to around late 1400 CE. Dendrochronology (tree ring dating) has determined that the wood used in the dwellings was cut between 1276 and 1287. Archaeologists estimate that the site was only used for 20 years or so. – 46 rooms have been identified in the five cave network, part of which is shown here. They were likely occupied by 10 to 15 families. – While local native peoples were aware of the site, the first contact by Europeans occurred in 1878. Several mummified bodies were found at the Gila Cliff Dwellings during that time but were lost to looters and private collectors. One infant mummy remains, found in 1912, and is in the possession of the Smithsonian. • #gilacliffdwellings #newmexico #wilderness #gilawilderness #nationalmonument #gila #hiketheworld #explore #respecttheculture #mogollon #ancientcultures #solovacation #outdoorlife #specialplaces #traveltolearn #seetheworld #stonehouses #cliffdwellings #americanindian #mimbres #canyon #home #cavedweller #lostculture #ancientstructure #americanhistory #americansouthwest #🏜 #🔍

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Which would you choose? I returned with every intention of purchasing the beautiful orange patterned piece (at right) by the late Grace Chino, but my wallet had other plans; I was still happy to go home with a small seed pot created by Rachel Concho of the Roadrunner clan. A more modest start to the collection but equally gorgeous! – These stunning pottery pieces are hand thrown by artists of the Acoma Pueblo near mid-western New Mexico. According to Acoma oral history, the sacred twins led the ancestors to “Ako,” a magical mesa composed mostly of white rock, to be their home. Acoma Pueblo is called Sky City because of it’s position atop this mesa, and it’s the white clay of this region that lends unique character to the pottery created here. – Acoma’s dense, slate-like clay allows the pottery to be thin, lightweight and durable. After the pot is formed, it is painted with a slip of white clay. Black and red design motifs are added using mineral and plant derived paints. Fine lines, geometrics, parrots and old Mimbres designs are common motifs. The traditional paintbrush for Acoma potters is made from the yucca plant and all of the patterns are painted freehand. – The historical land of Acoma Pueblo once covered roughly 5 million acres. Now, the community retains just 10% of this land. Archaeologists believe the Acoma have continuously occupied the area for over 800 years, and oral traditions state that they have been present for over 2000 years. Along with the Hopi pueblos, the Acoma maintain one of the oldest continually inhabited communities in the US. • #acoma #pottery #acomapueblo #freehand #gracechino #rachelconcho #newmexico #santafe #nativeamericanart #artgram #handthrownpottery #finepottery #tribalart #tribalpattern #stunningart #cantchoose #threecolors #potterycollection #instaart #instahistory #southwesternstyle #🏜 #🏺

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Bat mural returns, much like a midnight pollinator. That’s right – the return of a bat is a good thing: some plants depend entirely on bats to pollinate their flowers or spread their seeds, and bats can also assist in pest control by eating insects. This helps to ensure the production of fruits that support local economies as well as diverse animal populations. Bats are good! 🌼 • #batsarecool #respectthebat #tucson #newmexico #pollinators #flyingmammal #localart #lookaround #desertlife #americansouthwest #solotrip #travelgram #desertanimals #publicmural #handpainted #travelsights #dailydetails #flyingbats #nocturnalanimals #loveanimals #batsofinstagram #lovenature #lovebats #batconservation #allcreaturesgreatandsmall #naturefan #22ndstreetshow #🌵 #🦇 #🏜

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I reached El Malpais pretty late in the day – a little too late to call a solo hike, having never been in the area, a “wise decision.” But the trail looked well marked, the air was warm and I wasn’t ready to give up, so I pushed it – getting back from the 4 mile loop just in time to find a ranger circling the parking lot at sunset. The wide variety of unusual volcanic stones and the sweeping views along the crater made this short hike one of my favorites of the trip! – #ElCaulderon erupted around 115,000 years ago and is one of the oldest lava flows in El Malpais National Monument. The trail I hiked features both red and black cinders in different areas in addition to large, sharp lava chunks and several caves. Because of the high density of iron in the area, compasses are unreliable for navigation. • #volcanohike #elmalpais #newmexico #nationalmonument #solohiking #lateday #longshadows #volcanicrock #solotravel #hikingadventures #wanderlust #instahike #continentaldividetrail #cdt #shorthike #womenwhoexplore #womenwhohike #ig_naturelovers #americansouthwest #volcaniclandscape #magicalplaces #energyvortex #strangenature #sacredplace #canyoufeelit #oldplaces #amazingplaces #🏜 #🌋

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Tucson Gem Show

Gryphon Charm